How is the prayer and fasting going? Are you doing the daily devotionals, asking God to bring an end to abortion? It is wonderful to think of the united prayers all across our nation. Our prayers must be a wonderful music to our Lord’s ears. Our sacrifices must be sweet smelling incense to His nose. He is so merciful…so eager to forgive us. He doesn’t ask much really…not compared to what He gives us.
Anyway, I just thought I would keep you all updated on the happenings at the vigil. Yesterday was a very “active” day in Pittsburgh, since it was the St. Patty’s day parade, and there was much beer-induced revelry going on in town. Although not formally scheduled for a “shift”, I went down with my husband to check on our vigil manager, Maggie Stuart, to make sure she wasn’t alone. She was. Although, there was a nice, but inebriated young man who thought he needed to keep her company. So, I was glad that my husband and I had gone. We stayed until the group from St. John Fisher got there. They had been stuck in traffic for two hours!
At one point, a young woman, clearly homosexual, stopped to yell at us for our signs, saying that she had been raped when she was 15, and had an abortion…and that it was mean to say that abortion is wrong. I asked if she would like some post-abortion healing information. She said no, and walked away. (After my husband and I left, Maggie emailed me to say that she came back and asked for that information! Praise God! I pray she will be open to the Lord’s healing of her heart.)
A few minutes later, I noticed a very large, very drunk man staggering towards us. I backed up…afraid that he might fall on us. I thought he was going to criticize us, but then he dropped to his knees, right there on the sidewalk. He put his hands together and began to pray. At first, I thought he was simply mocking us. But, he was really praying…praying for God to end abortion! He had tears in his eyes, and prayed for about 5 minutes on his knees…until his friend came back and took him by the hand, leading him away.
Barbara Lewis, the shift manager from 11 to 3, emailed me the following, similar account of the activity during her shift:
“Our Saturday 11 to 3 shift was remarkable for its pro life witness. Many of the people who stopped to talk were tipsy. So was I by the time the shift ended, tipsy with happiness. It seemed that hearts were more open in downtown Pittsburgh the day of the St. Patrick Day Parade. And why not? St. Patrick was a powerful Catholic saint, preacher. He reached the hearts of the pagan Irish. The happy Irish celebrants seemed to be asking us to reach their hearts. So many people asked us who we are. So many high signs and some thumbs down for the posters. So many people spilled out of the “gay bar” to talk about their being gay, their disappointment that “people on the right” looked down on them and didn’t understand them. One of those very openhearted young men gave me $10 for you… see enclosed. Later another man passing by on the sidewalk gave me his business card and made recommendations for my home made bill board along with his rationale for the changes. He is a filmmaker and specializes in communications. He is pro life but feels that the pictures of aborted babies hurt our cause. Good conversation came from that. A newly married couple, 3 months, from Steubenville Franciscan College came and prayed with us. They hadn’t signed up. They knelt, sang, prayed the Rosary. A street evangelist gave the husband plenty of opportunity for love, generosity and patience. Saturday was a blessed vigil.”
I also want to pass along this remarkable story emailed to me from Katie Beresik, who participated in our vigil last Wednesday:
“The rain didn’t bother me at all – God’s very presence was so thick all around. I believe it was a sort of redemption for all the times that I walked past the Planned Parenthood during my workday and looked away instead of praying. But I wanted to share a story of God’s amazing blessing. I was standing in a little alcove to the building next door to Planned Parenthood. A minivan pulled up with a handicapped sign and I could see a little girl about the age of 5 with her mother in the front of the car. The little girl kept looking at us and I could tell that she was talking with her mom. After 5 minutes or so the mom got out of the car with the little girl. The mom needed to get into the building behind us. As she passed, the little girl held out a dollar bill to me. I asked her what it was for and her mom said, “Oh I think she thought the sign said, ‘Pay for an end to abortion'”. We chuckled and I said to the little girl, “Thank you but you don’t have to pay us. In fact there is something far more important and special that you can give instead of money. You can pray to God that He will put an end to abortion.” The little girl nodded vigorously and said she would. The mother then told us that she had to explain just now in the car to her daughter what abortion was. Her daughter could not understand why a mother would throw away her own daughter. The mother said that the little girl looked back to her doll sitting strapped into a car seat in the back of the minivan. The mother thanked me for what we were doing and she and her daughter got back into the car. But they didn’t leave right away. Instead the daughter again got out of the car and asked if she could take one of the 40 Days for Life signs with her. I asked Marci and we thought it would be good so we gave her a sign and then said to the mother as she again got out of the car, “Your daughter is just precious!” The mother said to me, “Why, that is her name! Precious!” God is sooo amazing how He uses the little children to teach us so much about child-like faith.”
Also, I just watched the video of our candlelit vigil last Saturday (embedded below), where we were singing Holy, Holy, Holy. It was so cool to see so many Christians of all faiths, standing in the rain, with their candles, singing and praying together for an end to abortion. You will be blessed by watching it.
See you at the vigil!
With Love in Christ,
P.S. If you can, stop by the vigil anytime tomorrow. Our attendance from the churches may be light. Although we do have vigil managers scheduled for the entire day…so someone will be there! We could use more people!